A couple of weeks ago one of my adult pupils asked me about diving and jumping into the water. He had not done this before. As the pool where we were was in a modern health club the depth was just 1.2 metres throughout. I was not sure. Technically it should be fine but I was a bit worried, not about the water, but about him hurting himself if he landed too heavily on the bottom of the pool, so we didn’t do it.
His question made me realise that it is probably years since I have jumped in. My regular swimming pool has a deep end, this is sadly quite rare these days. Modern pools are often all one depth. It is cheaper that way as there is less water to heat. I have a very good friend who campaigned not only to keep our local pool open, but also to keep the depth. The management wanted to fill it in and make it more shallow but she fought to keep the three metre depth at one end. She won, so we have the luxury of the deep water to swim in. The diving boards were taken away, so there is nowhere to practice diving anymore, but at least we can jump in. So why were we denying ourselves that pleasure? Foolish of us.
The next time I went to the pool I walked straight to the deep end and jumped in. it was such a joyful and even slightly surprising experience. The feeling of falling through the water and then being gently caught and sent back up towards the surface. I often ask the children I teach to feel for the sensation of tiny bubbles bursting on their bodies as they jump in but I was too overwhelmed by the unusual for me sensation of jumping into the water to do this.
As I came to the surface I found myself laughing. I understand now why the children in my lessons want to jump in all the time and I wondered why I had left it so long.
When my friend arrived we jumped in together. We didn’t hold hands but next time we might.